Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rey's Sensational Sentences

I know that rhetorical questions are no substitute for arguments, but sometimes I just really love me some rhetorical questions. There are two especially sweet and lovable ones down there at the end.

Excerpt from Rey, G. (1993). Sensational sentences. In M. Davies & G. W. Humphreys (Eds.) Consciousness, (pp. 240-257). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

[B]y assimilating [qualitative] experience to [propositional] attitudes, we explain the essential unity of the mind, what it is that makes beliefs, desires, memories, hopes, fears and sensations all states of the same sort of entity. What are sometimes proposed as rival accounts seem to me to lack this unity. For example, biologistic or dualistic accounts that regard qualia as biological or as entirely non-physical properties of a computationally organized brain have trouble explaining how a mind that thinks by computing manages to feel by being in some further non-computational relation to such further properties. The further properties seem gratuitous and accidental: unless they were somehow represented in that life, how could they be any more a part of a person’s mental life than the colour of their brain? But then why should not the representations be enough, whether or not there are the corresponding properties? (p. 248)